I Like Prepositions…

I’m not sure when it first happened, but I’ve become obsessive over prepositions. Not necessarily on blog posts, but in writing my thesis and Bible studies it can feel like I spend way too much time thinking about prepositions. Nevertheless, even if no one else is paying attention, I enjoy thinking about them:

-does “by” or “through” better communicate the power in play?

-does “in” or “with” better describe the relationship between the characters?

-does “alongside” or “among” better explain the characters proximity?

-does “upon” or “into” better depict the arrival?

My best guess is the obsession has come from closely studying Paul’s letters for several years now. His usage of prepositions — e.g. in Christ: ev and eis; with Christ: sun; and through Christ: dia — can be maddening. Furthermore, interpreters draw extraordinary amounts of meaning from these prepositions which is fascinating and appalling, sometimes at the same time. In this regard, I am finding Constantine Campbell‘s Paul and Union with Christ an interesting read (review should be coming by end of the month, brief preview – more fascinating than appalling). And I am also looking forward to reading Murray Harris’ Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament.

Does anyone else share my obsession with prepositions? Where did it come from? What are your favorite prepositions to obsess over?

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